It's no surprise when you're stuck in the office all day that when you're finally released to do your daily miles that you suffer pain and discomfort in your hip flexors - sitting at a desk places them in a position where they can shorten and stiffen up. Luckily, we have three mobility moves that can release pressure through this vital area that not only reduces pain but will make you a more effective runner.
1/ Medicine ball trigger point release
In order for these mobility drills to be as effective as possible, you first need to release areas of tightness surrounding your hip flexors. A simple way to release all the main muscles that surround the hip is rolling out areas of tightness with a medicine ball. Initially, it may be painful, but the level of pain reduction from these muscles over time will be a good indication of positive progress.
Start in a supported plank position with the medicine ball sitting in and around your quadriceps and make small undulating movements to work areas that you feel are tight. The amount of bodyweight that you take in your arms will determine the level of pressure: if you put less through your arms you will put more on your legs. Once you have worked this area where you focus on the psoas (the main hip flexor muscle), sit on the ball and work the opposite side of this area, your glutes. Focus on releasing your piriformis, which roughly equates to the area in which your back pocket would sit.
2/ Lizard lunge circle
Using this simple blend of yoga and primal movement patterns you can effectively create space in your hips whilst stretching your quads and hamstrings at the same time. Place one knee on the floor with a wide lunge position, take your hands to the inside of your foot and create an opening circle movement around the knee. To develop this you can wrap your hand around your calf.
3/ Seated diamond stretch
Sit upright directly on your sit bones. Place the soles of your feet together 12 inches in front of you, letting your knees fold outwards. Place your hands facing away behind you and lift your chest to the ceiling. Sit for 10 breaths trying to release your knees closer to the floor with every breath out.
Use all of these movements to effectively prepare your hips for your running work and also to recover from intensive training.
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